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FICT 83 — Stories That Sing: Develop an Unforgettable Voice in Fiction

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jan 17—Feb 21
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 19
Unit: 1
Tuition: $510
Instructor(s): Rose Himber Howse
Limit: 21
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Jan 17—Feb 21
6 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 19
1 Unit
Rose Himber Howse
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Voice is the holy grail of fiction, but can it really be taught? From the neurotic to the repressed to the fanatical to the heartsick, our characters’ voices are what readers remember long after the details of a plot or premise fade.

In this course, we will create and hone voices with the same technical precision that we bring to other elements of craft. We will begin by studying successful voice-driven fiction from authors such as Shirley Jackson, Ottessa Moshfegh, Carmen Maria Machado, and Adam Haslett. We'll investigate how these authors create unforgettable, prismatic voices for their narrators. Then, we’ll turn our attention to student writing: course members will participate in eavesdropping exercises and apply their observations to their own work. Under the guidance of Steven Schwartz’s essay “Finding a Voice in America,” students will engage in explorations intended to deepen their understanding of their characters’ cultural and personal histories and how these give rise to voice. In the final two weeks, participants will have the opportunity to receive instructor and peer feedback on two passages from new or in-progress original work.

Stegner Fellow in Fiction, Stanford; Former Steinbeck Fellow, San Jose State

Rose Himber Howse is a queer writer from North Carolina and her fiction and essays have appeared in Joyland, The Carolina Quarterly, Hobart, YES! magazine, Sonora Review, and elsewhere. She received an MFA from UNC-Greensboro, where she served as fiction editor of The Greensboro Review.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.